#BombshellTalk with Joyful Drake of BET’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’
I love when I am able to interact with amazing and talented women. I am especially excited to learn of their journies, why they think the way they do and what makes them different. Joyful Drake gave me all this and some when I caught up with her for the most recent segment of #BombshellTalk! Check it Out!
EricaVain: Can you tell us when did you know or what made you want to be an actress?
Um [laughs} I don’t think you decide. I think it’s a part of your destiny. There is something in you that wants to perform. I think always been a go-getter. I’ve always been on sports teams. I was involved in theatre as a child. I used to dance in the NBA right out of college. So I’ve always loved to entertain. When I found acting, it was like I found my job soul mate. I knew there was nothing else that I would ever wantto do. Because it’s a lot of work being an actor, you get told no more than you get told yes. You really-really have to love it in order to stick with it. EricaVain: On your twitter profile it says that you live in the matrix AKA Hollywood. Can you tell us a little about what that means for you?
You know, this might sound crazy but I’m fortunate enough to have lived in every part of the country. I live in California, I work in the south (in Atlanta), I grew up in the Midwest and I used to live in New York. The thing about California is that once you go to other parts of the country, you realize that it’s different here. It’s just different. The people are different and people’s dreams are different. Sometimes I love going back home and talking to real people. People who have had 9 to 5s. Just real people. Cause you know, sometimes with palms trees and the sunshine you can forget what most of the world is doing on a daily basis. You know I go to work. They dress me, they feed me, and they take care of me. It’s a blessing to go to my job. I get to play and act and do scenes. And it’s fun and I’m so blessed and thankful that I get to do what I love. But there’s a saying; I think it’s, “90% of people don’t really do what they love. They do what they have to, to survive.” Sometimes I feel like I live in a different world. I don’t know if that answered your question. Only on a television show can you make in one episode what some people make in a year or two. You know what I mean? So you have to be thankful for that.
EricaVain: Can you tell us a little about your experience of being a woman of color in Hollywood?
You know, now is a great time to be a woman of color in Hollywood. Because Michelle Obama brought us back (laughs). We’re strong, we’re beautiful. We come in all shapes and sizes. And I think right now, more than ever, we are feeling our power and we know whom we are. Sometimes Hollywood will say who they think you are or that you have to look a certain way to fit the “black role”. But I think with movies, television shows and BET doing different programs, America is looking at us differently. And they are seeing the beautiful array of shades and our sizes. They are seeing that we are not only beautiful but strong. So I’m excited to be a woman of color in Hollywood right now because I think anything is possible.
EricaVain: So you’re in the fourth season of Let’s Stay Together. How has it been working on such an amazing show that seems to come out of nowhere and everybody loves?
It’s very cool! It’s crazy when you say “fourth season” because that means four years, and if I didn’t know time flew before, I definitely know it does now. Time does fly when you’re having fun – it’s awesome. To be able to say you’ve been on a show for four seasons and grown with your character? It’s an amazing journey for an artist.
EricaVain: What’s one of the things you love most about being a part of that particular show, because you have a really great resume?
Thanks! Because it’s a family show; the one thing about Let’s Stay Together is you can watch it with your kids. You can watch it with your mom. You can watch it with your grandmother. It spans across a wide generation gap. The age range of fans that the show has is amazing. When I’m out and someone’s little kid comes up to me, or someone’s grandma comes up to me – I think that’s important. And I also love that we get to show African American professional positive women and men in love, married and raising a family! The value that our show shows represents is also pretty cool.
EricaVain: What do you have coming up soon?
November Rule, produced by Queen Latifah. Good movie. Funny movie. Great cast. I had a ball. I have that coming up and I believe we are getting ready to start shooting season five of Let’s Stay Together. I know season 4 is airing now, so they’re about to gearing up to start shooting season five. So I’ll be busy with that. I have a couple projects too that I work on. I’m also a writer and producer, so I have a couple of things in the infancy stage that I’m really excited about. I love it. It keeps me busy.
EricaVain: What are 3 things that makes Joyful, Joyful?
I love to laugh! Friends and family, we crack each other up. You couldn’t tell me that I couldn’t be a standup comedian if I wanted to. I love to travel. Love it. I like going to new places, checking out art museums and city structures, stuff like that. And I love the beach! I love going to the beach, reading a book. I’m really an outdoor-style type chick. And my family. I love my family. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I have the three most amazing sisters in the world. They’re like all my BFF’s. And I like kicking it with my girls. My sisters.
You can catch Joyful Drake on BET every tuesday night at 10:30pm EST in “Let’s Stay Together”, in theaters in the fall for her new movie “November Rule” (produced by Queen Latifah) and in ATL as LST Season 5 is getting ready to start filming! Follow her on Twitter @JoyfulDrake